tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN December 10, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm PST
>> all right, i'm leaving. >> for wolfgang. >> thanks, everybody. >> thank you, all. thank you, all, for a wonderful evening. and with that, dinner was done. we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. thank you all for watching. thank you all for watching. and happy holidays. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com tonight a hollywood icon in her own words. >> i'm my father's daughter in the sense that i do believe strongly in things. >> the unique and remarkable jane fonda on her politics. >> we're going to have to stop being objective and start telling the truth and it has to start with the media. >> her extraordinary life and loves. how many times do you think you've properly been in love in your life? >> oh, maybe five times. that's a lot. >> her outstanding film career
from sex symbol to oscar winner. her workout empire. you. >> work out? >> i try. it's what i called a british workout where can you do it carrying on eating and drinking. and what she says about her life now. >> i've never been happier. and i'm not being could i. >> this is "piers morgan tonight." if i could talk to just one hollywood star, that star would very probably be jane fonda. the stories this woman can tell, in fact does tell from her beginnings in one of the first families in movies to her grand breaking roles of poll tex and multi-million dollar businesses, even her life with the man who created cnn. but she's not resting on her laurels. her latest book is "primetime" and she's here with me now. >> thank you very much. glad to you with you. >> when you look at the extraordinary life that you led wlrk do you think that your
prime time was? >> i think it started at about 62 when i became single for the third time. and it's continued. i can honestly say that i've never been happier. but i've worked hard for it. >> i read a recent interview did you and you suggested that despite all these amazing men that you had relationships with, you actually never felt proper intimacy, which i thought was an extraordinary thing to say. what do you mean by that? >> well, to really bring all of yourself, including the not always very attractive and perhaps not loveable parts of yourself to the table in a relationship makes you very, very vulnerable. and if you have addictions of any kind or suffer from depression or things like that, it's very hard to do it. and, you know, for -- in my first marriages i think that i
chose men -- i agree with katherine hepburn be, it's the women who choose the men, i chose men who like me really weren't able to show up 100% and it took me time to get over that and be open to a relationship that was intimate. i'm not talking about sex. i'm talking about soulful, emotional, psychological intimacy. >> and how much of that was down to you with the husbands you've had and how much was down to them or it was both? >> well, it was definitely me. i mean, i sometimes wonder did a man cross my path who could have really showed up a hundred percent? who knows. but i didn't -- if he did, i would have run the other direction, you know. it's like if you grow up surrounded by chaos and someone is offers peace and calm, you're going to be terrified. so, you know, i had to grow out of that and it took me -- i'm a late starter.
>> what have you learned about yourself? >> that i'm resilient, that i'm brave, that i'm honest and i guess the most important thing that i continue to be curious. i feel like i learn something every day. i think that it's one of the things that keeps us young and interesti interesting, remaining interested in life in people and learning things. i was a college dropout. i'm a great student now. i study. one of the reasons that i love writing books is because it forces me to study and i do. and i'm just very involved in life and i'm very happy. >> you've always been very active politically and everyone knows you for that. what do you make of what's going on with politics in america at the moment? >> i am -- i'm scared. i'm scared. anybody who's been to a third world country where there's no
middle class, you know, where there's a very narrow layer of people who are very rich and powerful and privileged and then everyone else is kind of struggling, barely making it, not able to have what they have dreamed of, that's a country that's not stable and i hate to think that this wonderful country of ours is not going to be able to be stable. but we're headed in that direction and i -- i -- we still have time. i hope we can turn it around. we have to do something about the greed in high places i think. >> why has america got itself into this awful position economically? because it was the great super power of the world. it remains so statistically if no other way but there's clearly something wrong with the soul of america and everyone is debating this. you've been at the forefront of america politics and society for a long, long time. when you look at it, what do you think went wrong? >> i can't answer the question. i have not been in the forefront
of politics. i came to politics, you know, in my 30s and my politics are around issues and the issues that i understand are not economic. you know, i work with young people, i work with adolescents, i work on issues of violence against women. it would be clumsy for me right now to try to give my opinion about what went wrong in this country economically. i mean, one thing that comes to mind is you can't wage a war for as long as we did in iraq and not tax it. we're paying for it without taxing it so that people would swallow that bitter pill. that was one thing that went wrong and that really messed up the economy. but i'm -- i have a hard time understanding the economic situation. i try. i look at wonderful documentaries like "too big to
fail" and things like that. i find it very confusing and disturbing. all i know is that when you have soldiers coming back from war, when you have people graduating with high degrees and none of them can find jobs in a country that promises that if you play by the rules, that you're going to be able to own a house and send your children to college and do okay, this is going to cause real deep problems in our country. and, you know, year going to have to stop trying to be objective and start telling the truth and it has to start with the media in my opinion. >> are you blaming me there, jane? >> i don't know you well enough. i might. >> how far do you think the media has been come police snit. >> i think it's been quite
complicit. there's such an effort to be objective rather than really looking at underlying truths and telling them even if it might affect the ratings, you know, everyone's worried about the short term. you know, if only, only, only we could become a country where people who influence our consciousness and influence or politics and the politicians themselves stop thinking short term and began thinking long term, i wish that we had those kind of human beings in office. and there are some but not enough. we need more long-term thinkers. >> when you look at the republican race and you see these debates with all the candidates and so on, what do you make of the intellectual level of those debates? who impresses you and who scares you? >> they all scare me frankly. i'm -- i'm -- i get depressed and scared when you look at the
republican debates. >> i mean, even someone like a newt gingrich or a mitt romney? do they scare you? >> i'm worried about anybody getting elected to office who says we have to do away with or privatize social security, we have to reduce medical insurance, health insurance, we have to not raise taxes. i don't think that we can get out of the -- and, oh, there's no problem with the environment. you know, this is all made up by the left, the scientists don't really know what they're talking about. this worries me. i think this is an example, you know, especially i'm thinking about the environment now, of people not -- people becoming idea logical rather than understanding that there are some people who are experts and there's a lot of them and they're saying we are in dire trouble, this is our life support system, this planet.
and if we don't do something about clean air -- i'm unhappy with the democrats, too. it's not just the republicans. but this should be a top priority. so they all worry me because i don't think that they're really telling the truth or maybe they just don't see the truth about what's happening to us. we have to tax the rich, we have to help people who are, you know, who are struggling. we have to do everything we can to create jobs for the people who are able to work. we have to help children become educated so that we have a workforce that's going to be productive in the future and we have to do everything we can to save the planet. >> what do you think of barack obama? >> i hope he gets re-elected. i wish that he would be stronger. i think he will be in his second term. i think he's going to be re-elected. i think that he's -- i think he's a good man but i wish that he was tougher on the issues
that i care about and that a lot of people care about. >> a lot of people say about president obama that he's, you know, he's a very nice guy, people like him, he's clearly intelligent, he's a great figure head for america abroad. there's no question about that. i've seen that it and jibli in europe. what they say he wants to get on with being a nice guy when politics isn't like that. he should have flattened them early on and forced on what he really believes in. >> if he's able to. i'm old enough to remember the time when people were friends across aisles, especially during lyndon johnson's administration. they would play cards and drink together and they were friends and they would compromise. there was a civility in the body politic. and that seems to be gone. and, you know, i think that
obama has tried to reach out and i think that the other side is really intransient. i don't know whether there's anything he could have done differently. i hope that i'm wrong but we feel like we're at some kind of a terrible, terrible impasse. i don't know how to open the log jam but it needs to happen and it needs to happen soon. >> it seems there he's very disconnect now between washington and the regular american on the street. when you watch the occupy wall street protesters, what they're really protesting about is a general malaise about the way the political process is stifling their lives and nothing's getting done for their lives. >> they're protesting greed. greed is poisoning our country.
>> but with why? why has that happened? >> i don't know why. >> americans didn't used to be associated with greed. it want part of the culture. >> i can't answer the question. >> what do your suspicions tell you? >> i don't know. you know, i -- i really -- i'm not going to go us there i don't know how to answer. i don't know how to answer the question of why greed has risen to this level in the last several decades. i don't know -- i don't know what it is that has caused a very, very extreme right wing to be able to -- because i think that they're responsible for the impasse. i don't entirely understand why it's true but, you know, your original question was am i
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fonda as a world wide sex film. >> i think it's a time youngmen had their first experiences looking at the film. i'm kind of glad about that. i think it's kind of cool that i aroused a lot of young men at that certain time. it's pretty tame compared to what we see now but it's got a lot of charm. we did it before there were any great special effects. we invented them. we, my then husband, roger vedin, came up with all these ideas of how to create special effects and no one had done it before. it was kind of fun. >> when you say it's not very sexy, you realize there are millions of men who would race to disassociate themselves from that comment. >> they remember from when they were very young but looking at it now, it doesn't seem so sexy. but i'd like it remake it. i would, i would.
maybe i will one day. >> i was going to say, there's nothing to stop you. i was going to say did you like being a sex symbol but you've remained a sex symbol. i look at you now and you've looked as glamorous as you've ever looked. >> thank you very much. i don't think of myself as a sex symbol. it was fun. i like to work and i'm glad i went ton to make movies like "cloout" and "coming home" and "on golden pond." i'm glad i didn't get stuck in the barbarella mode. >> why wouldn't you be that keen to be a sex symbol? >> i'm 74 years old. i think it would be inappropriate. >> i don't mean now. when you look back to that period of your life, you don't seem that happy that you were this global sex figure if you'd like, the idol of millions of
men. >> if you want it know, i wouldn't. it did not do well at the box office. it's become a cult film but it was not a big deal at the time and, you know, i came back and pretty soon after i did "they shoot horses don't they" so that window of time when one could have slotted me into sex symbol didn't really last because at heart i'm a serious actress who much preferred being in "they short horses doesn't they" and shoortly after that "clute" because being stuck with a label like sex symbol could be very limiting. if a man i care about finds me sex eep, that's great. but i don't want to be labelled anything. i do a lot of different things. >> who was the sexiest of all the stars you've ever seen? >> ava gardner as a woman.
redford i guess is my favorite. i made three movies with him. >> i introduced -- interviewed robert redford lately and heap exsuedes it. you two should make a movie together. you could do barbarella 2. >> i wouldn't do it with him. i would do it with angelina jolie. if i had a baby, i'd lay an egg. i won't tell you anymore because maybe i'll do it one day. >> tell me about acting, though. if you were to tell me what really has excited your passions in life, on a chart list of top three, where would acting fall? >> there have been moments in some films when it feels
transcendent, when it is the most wonderful feeling when you have entered someone else's reality and you know you're there. part of you knows that it's not real and yet you are living inside another human being and it's meaningful and it works. and when that happens in the context of a film that you produced and conceived of and that is carrying a message that is something meaningful to you, that is very -- that is beautiful. it happened in "on golden pond," which i produced for my father. it happened in "in coming home ", which i was instrumental in getting done, and it happened in "9 to 5," which was my idea. it's happened a few times. when all those things come together, when what you're saying through art is something
that you're passionate about and you love the character and inhabit the character so deeply that it's transformative, that's really, really exciting. there's also -- i've been fortunate enough to have done this evenings in my life that have -- people tell me have helped them, have made them happier, better, more clear about their own lives, helped them move forward in their lives. that is profoundly rewarding d and, you know, i -- about five years ago when i had written my memoirs and i was on a road tour promoting my memoirs and especially women would line up to get me to sign their books and one would come along and say remember that march in san diego in '71 when we marched together against the war? and the next woman would come and say, oh, "cat blue," wonderful movie, it saved my
life when i was depressed and another woman would say that video you did, it saved my life. and i realize i've bt i interacted with people in many ways overs course of my life and it feels good, it really does. >> which is a movie that if you could be remembered for one you would choose? >> i think the one i'll be remembered for is "coming home" because it was such a beautiful movie and such a universal -- so many girls have fathers that had a hard time loving them and people really identified with that movie. and i think it really, you know, a lot of people said to me men and women but mostly women, i saw the movie and then i brought my father to see it and it changed our relationship. but that's a movie that's been very meaningful to people.
but it hard to pick a -- "the doll make are," which a won an emmy for, it's hard to pick. it's like saying which is your favorite child. >> i've got a favorite. it's "on golden pond." i want to come back after break and talk to you specifically about that and about your father and your extraordinary family. what's this? it's progresso's new loaded potato with bacon. it's good. honey, i love you... oh my gosh, oh my gosh.. look at these big pieces of potato. ♪ what's that? big piece of potato. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. try bayer advanced aspirin. it's not the bayer aspirin you know. it's different. first, it's been re-engineered with micro-particles.
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maybe you and i should have the kind of relationship that we're supposed to have. >> what kind of relationship is that? >> well, you know, like a father and a daughter. >> just in the nick of time, huh? worried about the will, are you? well, i'm leaving everything to you except what i'm taking with me. >> just stop it. >> jane fonda and her father henry fonda in 1981 "on golden pond." there are very few, i guess, fathers and daughters perform together, let alone oscar winning ones. when you look back on that, jane, what was the experience like for you working so closely with your father? >> i feel so blessed, piers, to
have been able to have that experience. he died five months later. i bought the play, i made the movie because i wanted to work with him. we knew he was dying. but to have found a play in which the father/daughter characters so mirrored our own real life relationship was -- it was amazing. and to have been able to say those words to him and to have the resolution at the end of the movie, i mean, i -- it's hard for me to look at the movie even now. >> yeah, i can see you looking away actually. i understood that because for us you're both movie stars but for you you're watching your father there and this is shortly before he died. >> yeah. i miss him so much. i feel him so present in my life all the time and that makes me very happy. >> what kind of man was he? i've read a lot of reports over
the years that he could be prone to being cold and detached, that it wasn't always easy as a father/daughter relationship. but what would you say? what would the honest portrayal be as your father as a father? >> well, let's start with the man. as a man, he was a man of profound integrity. he was a good man, he had good values. he had problems in the relationship department. he had problems with emotions, which is interesting for an actor, a hard time expressing emotions and being around someone who was emotional. it was absolutely terrifying to him. you know, he was -- he was difficult. but he did his best. he did the best he could. and i was able to tell him that before he died. and, you know, if there had been prozac then, i think probably our lives would have been very different.
but he did the best that he could, and i'm so grateful to him. and grateful -- whatever he didn't say to me he communicated through his movies, "12 angry men," "young abe lincoln" "the wrong man," "grapes of wrath." these were the movies that meant something to him. these were the values that he held close to him and i knew that. and i think some of that seeped into me. the need for justice and equality and fairness and standing up for the underdog, that's what he represented. and i'm proud that in some small way i'm his daughter. >> people said to me when i said i was interviewing you, you got to be careful with jane fonda, she's feisty. she'll be challenging, she'll be on you. but i was like i've watched interviews you've been before. i would describe it as more
challenging and passionate and you take things seriously because you're driven passionate that i always assumed you got from your father and your family. if you were watching yourself, how would you describe your character? >> i don't see myself particularly as feisty. i see myself as caring passionately about. my dad expressed what he cared passionately about differently than me but that's a generational this evening. he w -- thing. he was in a generation when you expressed yourself through voting. he did the best he could because he always voted for you people he thought could make a difference. i was a protester and it was hard for him to understand that. so in that sense we were different. but i'm my father's daughter in the sense that i do believe strongly in things and, you know, i try to -- i try to
manifest those things in my life and in the social/political activist work that i do. and in some of the movies i've made. >> what do you think your father would have made of the way that you have turned out? >> well, he pretty much knew the way i turned out. i mean, i was already turning out who i am when he died. the one thing that i know that he would have been really happy about is that i was married to ted turner. i found out after my dad died that he was fascinated by ted turner. dad loved the news. he was an avid reader of the news and he told a reporter that once interviewed me that he thought that ted turner was the greatest guy in the world because he started cnn. there was something about -- ted
and i -- the cover of "esquire" once had the cover of this half was ted and this half was me and when you put them together it was my father. ted reminds me of my father, and i'd be out on a stream fishing with ted and it was like my dad was there. and i thought, dad, i hope you know i actually married this man you loved and admired so much. >> i had lunch with ted and thought he was an utterly compelling man in every way. i imagined he would be actually not easy to live with because he has this sort of burning energy all the time and need to keep doing stuff, which i can imagine given the way that you are that it was a heady cocktail to put it mildly. >> we had a great time for ten
years. i just am so happy that i got to spend ten years with him. it ended when it was supposed to end and we're very, very close. i just talked to him today. i told him i was going to be on the show and i'm so proud of him. he's done so much good work in the world. >> he has. an extraordinary man. let's take another break, jane. i want to come back and talk to you about workout videos, the exercise revolution that you helped start and have continued and how it can help me. >> okay. sarah, will you marry me? i think we should see other people. in fact, i'm already seeing your best friend, justin. ♪ i would have appreciated a proactive update on the status of our relationship. who do you think i am, tim? quicken loans? at quicken loans, we provide you with proactive updates on the status of your home loan. and our innovative online tools ensure that you're always in the loop.
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heels up, two, three, four. legs to the side, three, four, five, breathe, sectiix, seven, eight. >> one of jane fonda's workout videos from the early 80s. you have a new series out called "the primetime generation" for the baby boomer generation. which i guess is for me. how are you going to get me back in shape? >> well, first of all, you have to do it. do you work out? >> i try. i call it the british workout where you can carry on eating and drinking. >> well, it's better than nothing. you know, when you're older,
it's more important than ever that you stay physically active. i wrote this book "primetime" about the last third of life and in doing the research over four years, i really was struck by what a difference it makes to not only to your body but to your mind, to your self-esteem, to all kinds of things. and, you know, i thought, well, older people can't do the videos that i used to do and they can't do the videos that most people are releasing right now. but i'm hold and i've got a hip replacement and a knee replacement. i know how to make videos for people who are not fit and maybe people who never worked out before and people who are older. i did two last year and they're best sellers and i get feedback from 40-year-olds and 80-year-olds and it's really made a difference. so i got motivated to do two more. and they're kind of like my older ones in the sense this i'm
back in a studio and there's other people with me and one thing that's really great and different is that we have live music. we have a band on the set with us and it's just a lot of fun. i want to get people to stay active so that they can get up and down out of a chair, in and out of a car by themselves and pick up their grandchildren and back a car down a driveway looking over their shoulder. there's just all kinds of things that become harder as you get older. but if you keep your bones moving and your muscles moving and your heart pumping and your brain working, then it's going to be a lot easier. and they're effective and they're fun. so i'm real proud of them. >> you've gone through your life never it seems to me ever being entirely happy with your body. how do you feel about it now? have you learned to love yourself? >> i grew up thinking that if you weren't perfect that no one would love you.
and i was that way for quite a long time. and you can't really be super happy if you think you're supposed to be perfect because we're not perfect and we're not supposed to be perfect. it took me a long time to say, okay, i'm good enough. good enough is good enough. am i a hundred percent that way? no, frankly. i'm a creature of the 50s and i'll never entirely get over it. i'm not compulsive anymore. i don't work out compulsively. i have a boyfriend that thinks i'm just fine. i feel okay about myself. i'm not perfect and i don't care anymore. and i'm not making these videos so that people can look like me and people know that. i'm just trying to make people, you know, feel good. one of the things that i love so much -- because i didn't used to be healthy and i didn't used to work out. this came to me rather in my 40s in fact. and one of the things that i learned that to me is so beautiful is how it changes your head. it changes your feelings about yourself and your attitude about
the world. you gain self-esteem, you think more clearly, those endorphins start to pump and it's just easier, you know, to deal with the problems of life when you remain physically active. and the chances are if you do it for you that you'll like yourself more and then you'll tend to find people being attracted to you. >> how many times do you think you've properly been in love in your life? >> oh, maybe five times. that's a lot. but i'm old so -- >> that is a lot. you've done well. >> i have. i've been lucky. >> if you could take one of those people to a desert island for the rest of your life -- and it can't be your current partner, we'll have to eliminate him -- >> it would be my girl friends. >> but if i forced you to take one of the men you've loved in your life, who would it be? >> you couldn't. you couldn't. >> really? >> no.
been there, done that. i mean, i'm very happy right now with -- i have a lover and i'm real happy but i wouldn't particularly want to go to a desert island. i think the longest lived relationships are my girl friends. women have a whole network of nurturing emotional relationships and in terms of longevi longevity, put me on a desert island with a bunch of women friends. >> you'd probably have a happier time. we're going to take a final break. i want to talk to you about marilyn monroe, michael jackson, and what has been the greatest moment of your life. so who ordered the cereal that can help lower cholesterol
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oh, i'm so happy for you. congratulations. >> i can't believe this. >> so happy for you. i'm so pleased that you're going to be my daughter-in-law. oh, congratulations. >> i can't believe this. >> to 15 years of not acting, jane fonda burst back on to the scene with "monster in law" with jennifer lopez. you said a few times it's one of the best career moves you made that. >> it was a fantastic role, it was different than anything i'd ever done. i knew spending ten years with ted turner, i knew how to play outrageous and over the top in a way that was also loveable. he taught me that. it was just -- it was a fabulous part and i knew that people would come to the movie because of jennifer and they would rediscover jane fonda. >> i want to talk to you briefly
about two very iconic people in the world of entertainment. marilyn monroe and michael jackson. you knew them both. marilyn has a new movie out. what do you think the biggest misconception about marilyn was? >> i was very, very drawn to her. to me she was like a golden child. she radiated light and vulnerability and i think that she was attracted to me -- she used to gravitate to me a little bit at parties because she knew that i was not very secure either, and she was fragile, and i was very touched by her. michael jackson also, someone who was fragile, you know. both of them had these beyond
famous iconic image, and yet in their inner most selves they were very, very vulnerable. it was the tension between those two things, perhaps that made them so brilliant each in their own way. i mean, michael, what a genius in terms of dancing and music and moves and the impact he had on our musical culture and yet i lived with him for a week when i was making "on golden pond." he wanted to watch my father and katherine hepburn work. he was interested in becoming a movie actor. we would stay up at night talking. and, you know, this was part of him that was like a lost soul and this other part of him that was a savvy brilliant businessman, and inspired talent. so, you know, it was just very attracted to be around people
with that kind of, those kind of contradictions. >> when you saw the tragic way that michael jackson's life ended, and the trial and everything else, what was your view of that? do you think that michael in the end just became an awful kind of celebrity cliche in a sense that he was apparently just living off of these drugs and doctors were preying on him and so on and on. was that always going to be the way as somebody as genus but tormented life would go. >> because someone is brilliant doesn't mean you have to be screwed up. i think that -- i don't think it's a celebrity cliche what happened to michael either. but do i think -- i remember once he was visiting me, i had a ranch in santa barbara in california and he came and visited me once and i was walking him around is how he was introduced to that area where he eventually bought never neverland when i brought him to
my ranch. i pointed him to a place at the edge of a cliff and said that's where i'm going to bury. i thought he was going to have a meltdown. he screamed. and he talked about how he would get into an oxygen tank and he thought that would keep him alive for ever. i think growing old would have been very, very, very difficult for michael. there was a lot of demons chasing that kid, and i think it would have been hard for him. i wish it had happened another way, but it's hard to imagine that someone that was as torm t tormented as he was, could have, sort of lived a long and peaceful and natural life. i just don't think so. >> i agree. very sad. jane, as i said at the start of the interview you had an extraordinary life. when you look back on it all with the exception of marriage
and the birth children what's the greatest movement your life? >> i know you asked me right before the break. i spent the break trying to figure it out. it's really hard. right now, i don't know. i've learned and i've made a conscious effort to learn to be right here and now. i've had incredible experiences in my life like when i picked up the oscar for my father for "on golden pond" and 2005 my own oscars and, you know, just -- i think i'm happiest when i'm up at the top of a mountain about 4 14,000 feet high and i love being up in nature very high up where the air is thin. those are perhaps my happiest times. but i don't know. i don't think back. right now -- i've never been happier, frankly and that's the truth.
i'm not being coy. >> that's a perfectly good answer. you've never been happier. it's been a fascinating interview, jane. you've been exactly what i hoped you would be. formidable and challenging but also very, very interesting to listen to. i could have done that for hours. >> thank you. have a nice baby. i'm glad that you're a new father. that's exciting. get some sleep. >> okay. i'll try. thank you very much. a.
last five years you've been telling us about people in your communities helping others. now we're shining a spotlight on these inspiring heroes. >> cities in 2007 cnn viewers have been helping us find these heroes. from those thousands we honored 164 men, women and young people worldwide as cnn heroes. they are determined and passionate. their missions run the gamut. sustaining life. preserving dignity. protecting the powerless. defending the planet. thousands of people in 75 countries creating a legacy of change around the world. tonight we gather to northern the best humanity has to offer. each palm we select even a more